The article describes the main dynamics characterizing the beginnings of the European environmental policy in the Seventies. The author reconstructs the European institutions role and some aspects concerning their relations with the international context, which has deeply influenced the European Economic Community action in this sector. In particular, the author describes the first phase of this policy evolution, which ended in 1986, when the Single Act recognized the Community competence in the environmental field. During this time, the Community developed the environmental political action and it gradually changed its corrective approach into a preventive one. The article focuses on some important events of this transformation and some measures adopted by the European Economic Community in order to improve the environmental prevention standards in the member States.